Two men arrested in cross state retail scam - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Two men arrested in cross state retail scam after hitting Rice Lake Wal-Mart

Richard Eugene Watkins Richard Eugene Watkins
Abdul Karrim Kargbo Abdul Karrim Kargbo

Barron County (Press Release) - On Friday, August 9, 2013, at 3:59 p.m., the Barron County Sheriff's Department received a call from Wal-Mart in Rice Lake stating that two males had left the store with unpaid merchandise and fled in a vehicle south on 19th Street.

A Barron County Sheriff's Detective located the vehicle on Highway 8 in Barron and attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle failed to stop and a high-speed pursuit ensued. A short chase occurred by the Barron County Sheriff's Department until the vehicle was driving too recklessly and the chase was terminated.

A short time later a witness called and advised the vehicle cut her off, was driving recklessly and went down a dead end road at 10 ½ Street and Highway 8. Deputies from the Barron County Sheriff's Department responded to this area and located the unoccupied vehicle involved in the chase as the subjects had fled on foot.

Deputies from the Barron County Sheriff's Department along with the Barron Police Department K-9, Turtle Lake Police Department, St. Croix Tribal Police Department, WI Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin State Patrol assisted in a search for the suspects.

At 4:45 p.m., a WI State Trooper located one subject hiding in a ditch and he was taken into custody. He was identified as Abdul Kargbo, 23, of Columbus,Ohio.

The other subject was not located until the next morning and he was apprehended in a wooded area off Hwy 8 and 10 ½ Street after the sheriff's department received a tip of a subject sleeping in the woods just off his property.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department was assisted in this search by the Rice Lake Police Department K-9, Barron Police Department K-9, Turtle Lake Police Department, WI State Patrol and a Barron County K-9 along with a helicopter operated by Chris Brekken who was at the Rice Lake Fly-In and left to assist us. This subject was identified as Richard Watkins, 52, of Columbus, Ohio.

An investigation continues into this case as it appears that these subjects have been crossing several states scamming area retail establishments. The FBI has been brought in to assist with this case.

Both subjects are being held in the Barron County Jail on charges of Reckless Endangering the Safety of Others, Theft and Knowingly Fleeing an Officer. Charges are expected to be filed on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at 10 a.m.

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